Rancho Palos Verdes City Council




DATE: MARCH 7, 2006


Consider sending a letter of support for AB 2015.

On February 3, 2006 Bill Burke, Chair of the South Coast AQMD, sent a letter to all of the Mayors of the South Bay Cities requesting that the SBCCOG not pursue its legislative proposal to expand the number of members of the AQMD Board. Attached is SBCCOG's response.

As you know, the South Bay Cities cannot elect a member to the AQMD Board because the current election process always gives the seat to the City of Los Angeles. While the South Bay cities do not have a problem with the City of Los Angeles having its own seat (there are almost 4 million people in the city), they do object to the fact there are 24 other cities that cannot elect a person to represent them on the Board.

The South Bay Cities Council of Governments has requested that all of its cities send letters of support, or resolutions, to legislators in support of AB 2015 which would add seats to the AQMD Board reflecting the growing population of the region and also allowing the cities in the western sector of Los Angeles County to elect their own representative.

Respectfully Submitted,

Les Evans
City Manager

Attachments: SBCCOG Letter

AB 2015

The following provides information about the effort to add members to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Board lead by the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG). The SBCCOG formed a coalition with the Las Virgenes-Malibu Council of Governments, the League of California Cities-Los Angeles County Division, and the Gateway Cities Council of Governments, along with other interested participants, to review alternative Board configurations. Now, the South Bay Cities COG is seeking the support of additional municipal organizations and other stakeholders on a proposal to increase the SCAQMD Board to effect more equitable representation.

History of Issue

The twelve members of the SCAQMD Board are selected in varying ways according to State statute. Three of the members are selected by officials in Sacramento: the governor, the Assembly Speaker, and the Senate Rules Committee. Four members are selected by the county boards of supervisors in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties. There is one municipal member each selected from the municipalities in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Finally, in Los Angeles County, there are two representatives selected from municipalities: one from an area designated as the Eastern Sector, one from an area designated as the Western Sector (25 cities).

The impetus for seeking a change in the SCAQMD Board structure first arose due to the unique situation of the Los Angeles County Western Sector cities. The statute sets into law which cities are to be within the Western Sector and the procedure for the selection of that sector’s representative. The City of Los Angeles is placed within the Western Sector and the law prescribes that the representative is selected by a majority of the cities with the majority of the population. The practical, and historical, result is that the representative is always an elected official from the City of Los Angeles, or the board position is vacant.

Another issue unique to the Western Sector is that, because the cities of that sector are specifically noted in statute, cities which have been more recently incorporated in the Western part of Los Angeles County are automatically placed in the Eastern Sector and are represented on the board by the Eastern Sector representative.


The coalition’s legislative proposal would seek to resolve the two above noted issues for the Western Sector of Los Angeles County. The effort was initiated by a letter from the SBCCOG which was mailed to interested parties in February, 2005. The letter announced the commencement of a review of the SCAQMD Board structure and offer alternatives which would address the Western Sector concerns. Municipal organizations and other stakeholders were invited to join a Task Force to further the discussion and determine if a legislative alternative could be developed. Participants included members of the South Bay Cities COG, the Las Virgenes-Malibu COG, the Gateway Cities COG, the Westside Cities COG, the City of Los Angeles and the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County League of California Cities. The Executive Committee, the Las Virgenes-Malibu COG and the South Bay Cities COG are financial partners in the effort. The SCAQMD was kept informed of all activities in this regard.

That Task Force reviewed approximately 12 alternatives. It is the case, however, that in the course of this discussion several individuals shared issues relating to burgeoning populations in Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, and shared the belief that these counties have experienced a significant increase in air pollution levels since the formation of the District. Additionally, a previous legislative effort to create one additional seat for the City of Los Angeles was opposed by the SCAQMD Board and, according to our information, officials in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

Given this information, the Task Force initially forwarded a proposal which would add 8 new members to the SCAQMD Board: 1 county and 1 municipal representative from each county represented in the District. After further discussion with representatives from various levels of government, supporters are now forwarding a proposal which would add 4 additional municipal members to the SCAQMD Board: 1 additional municipal representative for each county represented by the District. It is the intent of the Task Force that the Sacramento appointments remain the same, and that tenures of current Board members not be impacted by the change.

The rationale for adding 4 members to the SCAQMD Board includes the following elements:

- Providing separate seats for a city within the Western Sector and the City of Los
- Realigning cities within Los Angeles County into sectors which are more
geographically equitable;
- Providing additional elected official representation for all of the counties within
the District;
- Retaining the expertise of the Sacramento appointees;
- Fostering greater “buy-in” by providing more local input and participation by
elected officials in the District’s decision-making process; and,
- Aligning the representation on the Board with the explosive population growth
experienced by the region within the last thirty years.

It should also be noted that, statistically, Orange County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County each represent about 16.6 percent of the voting authority on the District Board. Los Angeles County represents 25 percent. A 16-member board would increase Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino’s voting authority to 18.3 percent each. Los Angeles County would remain at 25 percent.


At the present time, the South Bay Cities COG is seeking support for adding additional members to the SCAQMD Board from municipal organizations and others from around the District’s jurisdiction. Assembly Member Ted Lieu has introduced AB 2015 on this issue. The SCAQMD Board adopted an oppose position to any change to the board structure on January 6. The City of Los Angeles Council unanimously approved a motion to support legislation enhancing municipal membership on the SCAQMD Board. The Contract Cities’ Association as well as the Independent Cities Association have both adopted a support position on AB 2015.